Friday, August 11, 2006

No Way to Win a War

Ed Morrissey is mildly optimistic about the U.N. cease-fire resolution unanimously approved by the Security Council this evening. I hope he's right that the resolution works to Israel's advantage, but I have my doubts. Israel has lost a lot of momentum by their on-again off-again incursion into Lebanon. If the Lebanese army fails to disarm Hezbollah and take control of the south as the resolution calls for, and of course it will, it will be enormously difficult for Israel to recover the political will and the military heart to do what they should have done several days ago - drive Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon.

Unless Nasrallah offers another clear provocation, which he'd be foolish to do, world opinion will be solidly against any future attempt by Israel to defeat Hezbollah no matter how much they flaunt the U.N. resolution. A once in a decade opportunity has been squandered by the Israelis and in a year or two we will be right back to the status quo ante. Voting for this resolution is no way for the United States to win a war against terrorists.

Ten Ways Darwinists Help ID

Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost has put together a series of posts titled 10 Ways Darwinists Help Intelligent Design, and it's quite perceptive. The series is in three parts. Part one is here, part two can be found here and part three is here.

The following is a list of Carter's ten ways. Go to his site to read his explanations of them:

  1. By remaining completely ignorant about ID while knocking down strawman versions of the theory.
  2. By claiming that ID is stealth creationism.
  3. By resorting to "science of the gaps" arguments.
  4. By claiming that ID isn't science since it's not published peer-reviewed literature...and then refusing to allow publications of ID papers in peer-reviewed journals.
  5. By making claims that natural selection is responsible for all behaviors and biological features.
  6. By invoking design in non-design explanations.
  7. By claiming that the criticism of ID has nothing to do with a prejudice against theism - and then having the most vocal critics of ID be anti-religious atheists.
  8. By separating origins of life science from evolutionary explanations.
  9. By resorting to ad hominems instead of arguments (e.g., claiming that advocates of ID are "ignorant").
  10. By not being able to believe their own theory.

    Also, on the evolution/ID front, here's a brief video geared toward kids that succinctly explains the difference between materialist and theistic explanations of the origin of life.

    Thanks to Uncommon Descent for the tip.

    The Nature of the Foe

    Gary Varvel explains why the casualties among Lebanese civilians are "disproportionately" high:

    Botching the War on Terror

    Not content with having botched, from all appearances, the post-war in Iraq, the Bush administration is now trying to botch the Israeli war against Hezbollah, at least it seems that way if this Jerusalem Post story is accurate:

    After 30 days of fighting, the war with Hizbullah seemed to be nearing its conclusion Thursday.

    Just a day earlier, the situation had looked drastically different. The security cabinet had approved the army's request to send thousands of troops up to the Litani River and beyond in an effort to destroy Hizbullah's infrastructure and to stop the Katyusha attacks. After the cabinet meeting, one division actually began moving north from Metulla. Its goal - to clear out al-Khiam and Marjayoun and to reach the Litani.

    But then, under pressure from the US, Defense Minister Amir Peretz made a frantic call to Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz and ordered him to stop the division in its tracks. "We need to give the diplomatic process one last chance," Peretz told Halutz. The orders trickled down the chain of command and by the time they reached 366, it had already reached Marjayoun, a stone's throw from the Litani.

    With the UN Security Council on the verge of passing a cease-fire resolution, the IDF understood on Thursday that Operation Change of Direction was ending, for better or for worse.

    Any United Nations cease-fire resolution will inevitably allow Hezbollah to survive and insure that more Israeli civilians will die from terrorist rockets in the future. The only solution to Hezbollah's murderous aggression is to eliminate Hezbollah. One might think that if anyone would understand that it would be George Bush. Apparently, however, the Bush administration is of the view that the cause of peace and justice is best served by enabling those who care about neither to continue their assaults on the villages and towns of northern Israel.

    The pressure from the White House to stop the Israeli advance is inexplicable. Surely there is no one in the administration who actually believes that if only the Israelis end their military action that Hezbollah will lay down its weapons and live in peace with its Jewish neighbors. Surely this administration recognizes that the only road to peace with terrorist fanatics is to extirpate the terrorists. Why then, do they stand in the way of an opportunity to do just that?

    The Second Stage

    Canadian journalist David Warren writes that we are in stage two of the clash of civilizations, the war of Islam against the West, and that even many liberals are now rubbing their eyes, rousing themselves from their torpor, and sitting up to take notice. His essay begins with this warning:

    Not all my readers appreciate that we are seeing now, in southern Lebanon and northern Israel, and across swathes of Afghanistan and Iraq, a harbinger of our future. The war with fanatical Islam is spreading, and must come to us. It already has, in its terror phase. We have huge police and security forces working around the clock to prevent terror attacks from happening in Canada; all convinced that such attacks are inevitable.

    We cannot know how the war will develop; only that it will. It will be quite unlike previous world wars. We can only observe that we are now in transition from the terrorist stage, to the guerrilla warfare stage. I can only guess, but would think the next threshold will be crossed when a country, most likely Iran, brings true "weapons of mass destruction" into play. The word "threshold" could mislead. Each new stage adds another layer, so that the terrorism will continue, joined to guerrilla war; and then both will continue, with WMD added.

    Does that sound alarmist to you? If so, I can only reply, wake up, gentle reader. The very people who guard you in your sleep are alarmed on your behalf.

    The West has three choices in the face of the threat posed by an extremely determined Islamic enemy. It can simply refuse to defend itself and capitulate to the vicious savages that we've seen so much of on grainy al-Jazeera videos; Or, it can try to postpone the inevitable through limited police actions, playing prevent defense while the jihadis move the ball of war inexorably closer to our end zone; Or, we can conclude that we really are at war not just with a rag-tag band of criminals, not just with stateless militias, but with a large portion of the world's population, a population which is not confined to the boundaries of a state but which is diffused throughout the West which it wishes to destroy.

    Many of the world's Muslims are committed to world-wide conquest and they're convinced that their moment is now. They may not themselves become suicide bombers or terrorists, but they quietly rejoice whenever one of these succeeds. They hate the West and everything about it, and nothing in their religion prevents them from using or supporting the use of violence to change it.

    So what should Western countries do? First, they need to place a moratorium on Arab Muslim immigration. Just as it would have been foolish to allow Germans to immigrate into Britain during WWII it is foolish to allow Arab populations to burgeon throughout Europe and the U.S. Many of these immigrants have no desire to assimilate into the cultures in which they live. They're there not to become English or German, French or Danish. They're there simply to exploit the host country. They hate the culture and its people and those countries are only sowing the seeds of inevitable civil strife by taking them in. They are committing the folly of the Trojans who unwittingly afforded the Greeks the opportunity to slay them all.

    Second, the West should close down madrassas and other centers of hate. Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom do not, or should not, confer upon citizens the right to preach violence and sedition. Their religious rights end where others' right to live without fear of being blown to bits begins. The first amendment to the United States' constitution was not ratified in order to protect those whose religion entails the murder of those who don't accept it. A religion which is clearly antithetical to all that is noble and good in the human species, a religion which inculcates hatred and a love of bloody violence, disqualifies itself, or should disqualify itself, from constitutional shelter.

    Third, all Arab Muslims who are not citizens should be immediately and permanently deported if they violate the host country's criminal code. There should be zero tolerance for criminal activity among non-citizens.

    People will object that all of this is discriminatory since it singles out a particular ethnic group and a particular religion for special treatment. Yes, it does. That's the point. We're in a war for our survival and the enemy isn't the Amish. To pretend that those who wish to destroy us do not belong to a specific ethnic and religious group is absurd. We need to recognize who and what our enemy is and take appropriate steps to prevent them from doing the sorts of things to us that they planned to do to the passengers on those flights from England, what they did on 9/11, as well as in Madrid and London. We can not allow the Islamists to live freely among us and simply hope that our police forces will always be able to thwart their plots to commit mass murder. As long as the Muslim haters have the opportunity they will continue to exploit it to kill our children until finally they sap us of our desire to survive the onslaught.

    We must limit their opportunities. We must recognize that we're fighting for the lives of our families and the survival of our civilization.